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The Winter Giant

The Winter Giant

4th year for Battle Festival

Now in its fourth year, Battle Festival has quickly become regarded as a cultural gem in the South East’s calendar. With a diverse, family-friendly focus, the festival will stage an eclectic range of events and activities throughout October. Hannah Collisson writes.

This year’s Festival will open with its most ambitious, large scale event yet: The Winter Giant (Saturday 7 October) from the award-winning Beautiful Creatures Theatre, brings a 20ft puppet into town alongside more than 100 singers from three local choirs, musicians, and a community lantern procession. The Winter Giant tells the story of anyone who has ever been lost or looking for shelter. It speaks of our common humanity, of the importance of a community that welcomes everyone, and of the desire among all humans to live in a safe, warm place. Be prepared to be amazed – and for a snowy finale! This event is free to attend and the procession starts on North Trade Road by the Guide Hut at 7.30pm, proceeding down the High Street and finishing on the Abbey Green in front of Battle Abbey at 9pm.

High Street Bankers : Martin Brockman

High Street Bankers : Martin Brockman

Visual arts take centre stage with Martin Brockman as the festival’s artist-in-residence. showcasing a range of works on paper, woodblock prints, ceramics, kilns and three-dimensional works in wood, both existing pieces and new work linking in with objects on display at Battle Museum.

Snow Queen by Ian Penney

Snow Queen by Ian Penney

There is a new series of work commissioned by Battle Festival from renowned paper-cut artist Ian Penney (see below), an outdoor installation Into The Abyss by Sam Peacock, which reflects on the global C02 crisis, and a 14th century vision of the historic Battle Abbey Gates in ultra-fine detail by painter Andy Hamblin. Watch him put the final touches to the painting on Sunday 1 October.

Battle Festival patron Tim Rice-Oxley and fellow Keane band member Jesse Quin will bring their band Mt. Desolation to Battle on 21 October for an intimate show at St Mary’s Church, the first time the band has performed live in seven years. Other musical highlights include Guitar virtuoso and composer Eduardo Niebla, one of the most potent forces in flamenco jazz fusion, ably supported by Sean De Burca, who has been named as one of the greatest guitarists worldwide under the age of 30 by Acoustic Guitar Magazine (17 October).

Mt. Desolation

Mt. Desolation

The festival also features world class-classical concerts by some of the UK’s finest chamber musicians and soloists, including the Primrose Piano Quartet (making two appearances), opera singer Louise Winter (15 October), clarinettist Michael Collins (27 October), while Battle Sinfonia is joined by top London soloists for a special family concert featuring music on the theme of ‘Magic’ including music from Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, as well as pieces such as Tchaikovsky’s Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy (28 October).

Michael Collins Photo Eric Richmond

Michael Collins Photo Eric Richmond

International dancer and choreographer Joseph Toonga showcases his potent mix of styles – including hip-hop dance, physical theatre and contemporary dance – in a breathtaking new work with musician Orin Norbert (19 October).

Joseph Toonga

Joseph Toonga

Hot from their main stage appearance at WOMAD, arts charity Indigenous People presents the Kakatsitsi Master Drummers from Ghana, who will share traditional music and culture (20 October).

Battle Festival maintains a firm commitment to community engagement and education. Alongside the programme of events, it runs an extensive range of workshops and demonstrations, many of them free or heavily subsidised. For 2017 these include a youth residency with international contemporary choreographer Joseph Toonga, demonstrations with artist-in-residence Martin Brockman, workshops with Glyndebourne Education and a range of African storytelling, drumming and singing events with Indigenous People.

Snow Queen by Ian Penney

Snow Queen by Ian Penney

The programme also includes a plethora of other events spanning literature, film, poetry, comedy, food, choral music, family fun and more. For the full programme and to book please visit Battle Festival 2017.

Battle Festival is a month long, annual arts and music festival running throughout October in Battle, East Sussex. Relaunched in 2014 after several years in hiatus, it now draws visitors from throughout the UK, western Europe and the US. With performances and exhibitions by internationally acclaimed, award-winning artists, the festival has received immense public and critical acclaim and worldwide attention.

Posted 09:05 Friday, Sep 29, 2017 In: Arts News


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